International manhunt underway for LAPD officer Henry Solis after bar fight turned fatal

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The search for a rookie Los Angeles Police Department officer suspected of homicide has expanded into an international manhunt, focused on the border cities of El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The FBI said Friday, March 20, 2015, it believes Solis is armed and dangerous and drove 800 miles across the desert from Southern California to El Paso with his father in a pickup a week ago. Credit: Pomona Police Department/KTLA

By Paul Vercammen

CNN

LOS ANGELES (CNN) — The search for a rookie Los Angeles Police Department officer suspected of homicide has expanded into an international manhunt, focused on the border cities of El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

The FBI said Friday it believes AWOL policeman Henry Solis is armed and dangerous and drove 800 miles across the desert from Southern California to El Paso with his father in a pickup a week ago.

The FBI is offering $25,000 for information leading directly to the arrest of Solis in connection with the death of Salome Rodriguez, 23, who died after a fight between the men in a downtown Pomona, California, bar.

“The pattern suggests he crossed into Mexico, but he has family and friends living in El Paso and Ciudad Juarez,” said Scott Garriola, special FBI agent who runs the fugitive task force from the Los Angeles Bureau. “So he could be on either side of the border.”

“It’s a quick bus ride from the interior of Mexico to other parts of the country and Central America.”

The FBI, Pomona Police and Los Angeles County District Attorney declined to comment on whether Victor Solis might face charges for allegedly helping his son flee to El Paso.

Garriola said Solis is a veteran of the Marines and “he has extensive training and weapons” understanding.

Authorities posted three photos of Solis, with and without facial hair, and said he may now have a full beard.

Police said after the early morning bar fight Solis pursued his victim on foot in the nightclub district and shot him multiple times.

Garriola said Solis then reportedly called his father in Lancaster, California, and later that morning they began the trek to El Paso.

Victor Solis said he dropped off his son at a bus stop in El Paso and his son made some incriminating statements “not only about his actions that day but also that he would never be seen again,” Garriola said.

Henry Solis worked in the Devonshire Division of the San Fernando Valley, where he rode with a training officer.

Earlier this week, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck fired Solis and appealed for him to give up.

“You have dishonored this police department, your country and your service to your country,” Beck said.

Marine Corps records say Solis served in Iraq from April to November 2007, earning several medals, including for the Iraq campaign, global war on terrorism service and Marine Corps good conduct.

The personnel file also shows Solis was an aircraft maintenance technician and a security guard.

Garriola said he was confident Solis will be caught, and said he shared Beck’s opinion of Solis.

“It’s a brother law enforcement officer, he served our country, we echo that same indignation.”

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